The next morning, I woke up with that fresh sense of the love of my Heavenly Father for me. We were heading on to Florida that day and I was excited at the prospect of seeing old friends. Little did I know what was about to happen.
I sat down with my bible and a glass of water for my morning devotions. I was really enjoying them, when my cell phone alerted me that I had a text message. I read it. It was from mom and it said "Call dad when you get a chance and can talk in private." Hmmmm.... that's funny.
I finished my devotions and then went to the room where I was staying. It was empty and so I sat down and called Dad.
I can remember being really uncertain and a little nervous but trying not to sound it. Dad asked how I was, asked how our trip was going, and then asked if I was in a private place where I could talk. I said Yes, and he began by telling me that he had recieved a letter from a young man who was interested in me. My heart began to beat a little faster, and I began to wonder who it could be. I thought of a couple of younger guys that we knew that daddy might even consider, but the answer came soon enough and it took me totally by surprise. Here's what Daddy read:
"Dear Mr. Turack,
I am the oldest son of Frank and Evelyn Maxson, missionaries in Malawi, Africa. Your daughter came to visit us late last year with the team who came with Pastor Harding. I am writing you because I have a serious interest in your daughter Bethany. I have observed her quiet godly manner, servant heart, and desire for serving God. After prayer and discussion with my parents (who are aware and approve of my writing), I want to ask if you will allow me to correspond with you about this.
Since I understand that you may know little about me I will try to explain what I can. Any questions on what follows or any other matters I will be quite willing to answer.
As I said I am the eldest in the family. I am 26 years old. Though I realize that there is an age gap between myself and Bethany (7 1/2 years:) I do not believe it would prove to be a real barrier.
I have been homeschooled from kindergarten all the way through high school, and am very thankful for it. The Lord has given me godly and wise parents from whom I can learn a lot!"
Daddy ended reading the letter there, and there was silence for a minute. I was totally shocked! Of all the people I'd ever known, he was the absolute last one I would have guessed... I had a knot in my throat and could hardly speak. I really didn't know what to say.
(Let me take a little break here to give you a little history on my reaction... you see when I visited the Maxson's in Malawi, I saw very little of Victor. What I did see, he seemed quiet, withdrawn and very serious. When all the young people were playing games, he would go to bed with the adults and things like that. He even told me the other day, that he used to be more the "hermit" type before we got married.)
And so, with that background, you will understand my reaction. And yet, I was torn... You see, at the age of eight, I had commited my life to mission work, wherever that might be. Victor had plans to marry and return to Africa as a missionary... I struggled with that letter for the rest of the trip. There was a continual nagging thought in my mind 'Could this really be it? Could Victor really be the one I've been waiting for?' I would push that thought out of my mind though, and try to focus on the events at hand.
As I said, I was struggling for the rest of the trip. When I got home, it didn't get any better. I was so confused. Part of me was all for it, part of me was totally against it. Finally, knowing I had to give an answer to Victor, I told daddy that I had no peace. Here's a short exerpt from his response letter to Victor:
Thank you for your communication last week concerning Bethany. We have talked and prayed about this and though Bethany loves your family and enjoyed her time with you all she does not have peace from the Lord about pursuing a marriage relationship with you. "
And so, it was all over... or so I thought!
(TO be continued...)